Park it

Conor Hill calls for an end to minimum parking requirements in Wellington City

Conor Hill today announced his plans to do away with mimimum parking requirements throughout Wellington city. These are council imposed rules which force new homeowners into building car parks whether or not they own a car. Hill believes people should be able to choose whether or not they want a carpark, an incredibly expensive and increasingly obsolete requirement, which adds to the debt of first home buyers.

It's a change that is slowly coming anyway, with a new national policy statement on urban development. Hill said "It's about time Wellington became an urban development leader again. We were the first New Zealand city to remove minimum parking requirements from the CBD, and we should extend this to all of Wellington. Let's allow people to make their own decisions as to whether they need a carpark, and not make homes vastly more expensive than they need to be."

Hill wants to see carparks as a choice not a requirement for new homes. Building a carpark is a cost that many Wellingtonians don't want or need. In apartment buildings, providing a carpark adds well over fifty thousand dollars to the cost of a new home. This cost can increase to a hundred thousand on a hilly Wellington section. Hill said "We should allow people to choose whether or not they want a carpark, instead of forcing people to spend tens of thousands dollars more than they need to on a new home."

The greatest irony of course is that many of Wellington's favourite suburbs were built before carparks were a reality. Hill said "Many of Wellingtonians most treasured suburbs, from Mt Victoria to Newtown do not have many off street car parks. This is a feature. An urban environment dedicated to people and homes is more attractive than one dedicated to garages, driveways and carparks.

Wellington needs to stop artificially driving up the price of new homes. We can and should remove minimum parking requirements now."

ENDS

Notes to editors

A discussion document on a national policy statement on urban development is available here. Mimimum parking requirements are discussed from page 40

Conor Hill